We’re just going to start out this story by saying that your bump looks fine.
“Women come in all different shapes and sizes, and carry differently depending on a number of factors,” Jessica Kiley, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine told Health.com. If this is your first rodeo, it may take a little longer for your uterus to move up and out of your pelvis. During later pregnancies, “the abdominal wall has greater laxity, allowing women to show sooner,” Dr. Kiley says.
Another factor that can affect the shape of your bump is diastasis recti, a super common condition that occurs when your belly starts to stick out as a result of your left and right ab muscles growing wider. Pregnancy can put loads of pressure on your abdomen, so sometimes your muscles in front can’t keep their shape. Diastasis means “separation” and Recti refers to your “rectus abdominis,” aka your ab muscles.
The shape of your bump can also be impacted by your fitness level. “The manner in which a woman carries has everything to do with the tone of her abdominal musculature,” Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH, director of perinatal services at New York’s Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center told The Bump. Tight abs can offer support and lift to your growing uterus, so pilates-loving mamas-to-be often carry higher, particularly with a first pregnancy. “Plus, strong abs hold the baby more into the body, which can cause the bump to appear smaller or less protruding,” says Katie Page, CNM, FACNM, a certified nurse-midwife in Lynchburg, Virginia.
If you happen to be rocking a bump that’s totally centered, you can likely thank your height. Tall women have more up-and-down room between the pubic bone and top of abdomen than petite moms-to-be, which allows for pregnancy weight to distribute more evenly. “Because they tend to have a larger midsection, taller women tend to stick out less and show later than shorter women,” Ross told the Bump. “But if you’re on the short side, there’s a good chance you’ll carry low and around your middle. After all, there’s not a whole lot of other places for baby to grow.”
Just remember, however you’re bumping around, try not to sweat how you look. In just a few short (read: endless) months, you’ll have a gorgeous new babe to obsess over, instead of your belly.